domingo, 28 de diciembre de 2008

The Second Coming

With so much war, corruption, and governmentally sanctioned injustice on the rise over the course of the last few years-- with increasing economic distress, genocide, natural calamity, and now with the deadly events of the past few days in Gaza, this poem, "The Second Coming," in early drafts, entitled "The Second Birth," seems timely as we begin to taste the horror necessary to understand these words fully.

Written by William Butler Yeats in 1919, in the aftermath of World War I, I imagine that the cycling of destruction into potential awakening and rebirth must have been a felt visceral experience. Without idealization or illusion regarding the cycle of birth, here instead we find a humbled wretched being or "beast" trudging toward Bethlehem to awaken or be born from a self-generated nightmare and ignorance; we must feel pity and compassion for him, for he is us.

The Second Coming

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all around it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

--W.B. Yeats

La Segunda Venida

Girando y girando en el creciente espiral
El halcón no puede oír al halconero;
Las cosas se deshacen; el centro no puede sostenerse;
La simple anarquía se suelta en el mundo,
La marea oscurecida por la sangre se suelta,
Y en todas partes
La ceremonia de la inocencia queda ahogada;
Los mejores carecen de toda convicción,
Mientras que los peores
Están llenos de apasionada intensidad.

Seguro que una revelación está en puerta;
Seguro que la Segunda Venida está en puerta.
¡La Segunda Venida! Apenas han salido esas palabras
Cuando una vasta imagen del Spiritus Mundi
Me agobia la vista: en algún lugar de las arenas del desierto
Una forma con cuerpo de león y cabeza de hombre,
Una mirada en blanco y despiadado como el sol,
Está moviendo sus muslos lentos,
Mientras a su alrededor
Dan vueltas las sombras de los pájaros indignados del desierto.
Las tinieblas descienden de nuevo, pero ahora sé
Que veinte siglos de sueño pedregoso
Se revolvieron en pesadilla por culpa de una cuna mecedora,
¿Y qué bestia tan áspera, llegado su hora por fin,
Camina con los hombros caídos hacia Belén para nacer?

--W.B. Yeats (Traducción por Lorena Wolfman)

viernes, 26 de diciembre de 2008

From Soto's Class

Monday nights in November and into December, at Mary Sano's intimate studio on 5th Street in San Francisco, I attended G Hoffman Soto's improv class. Below are some examples of the exercises from Soto's class. Each exercise was followed by feedback given either by the Soto, the "audience" and/or the performer in the form of what worked or what didn't and why. The class series culminated in a class performance at Mountain Home Studio in Marin, where we were honored by the surprise attendance of Anna Halprin in the Audience.

4 chairs are placed in a row facing the audience. Four class members take a seat. Each has a role in moving the story line along. The two people on each end change the storyline, the two in the middle develop the storyline as outlined below.

Chair 1: Changes the story with no necessary reference to what has gone before.
Chair 2: Develops the existing storyline.
Chair 3: Develops the existing storyline.
Chair 4: Changes the story, but keeps one word/image from what came immediately before.

Movement, Sound and Text
  1. Move at a slow continuous smooth rate of speed. Explore space and levels.
  2. Add spoken words/text/phrases.
  3. Move in a new way with new qualities. No text.
  4. Add sound to the new movement quality.
  5. Move back and forth between the first movement/text combination and second movement/sound combination.
  6. Introduce a new movement/text combination about a time in your childhood when you had an accident/injury.
  7. Move between the three combinations.
  8. Members invited to perform a solo before the rest of the group.

Entire group moves to music. Beginning each moving by him or herself. Each mover is then instructed to become more available to other movers and to open their own movement to the other movers. As a group, everyone is instructed to be aware of the use of space and placement in relation to the room and the audience. To be aware of the resources of the place, placement, rhythm as well as stillness. In variations of this activity, sound and text is introduced. Half the class may then perform for the other half of the class.

La Beauté

La Beauté (Beauty) is from Charles Baudelaire's first and most famous collection of poetry, Les Fleurs du mal (The Flowers of Evil), published in 1857. One of the remarkable things, now that this collection has withstood the test of time and has been inducted into the hall of French classics, thus making it a hallowed bastion of acceptable culture, is that soon after its publication, the author was brought up on charges, fined and forced to suppress some of the poems-- the claim being that with this collection, he had insulted religion and violated public morality. He was not officially exonerated until 1949, after nearly 100 years. Though there was much uproar and ridicule from some camps, Gustave Flaubert celebrated Baudlaire's work saying, "You have found a way to rejuvenate Romanticism... You are as unyielding as marble, and as penetrating as an English mist".[26]

The poem La Beauté came to my attention in the course of a short exchange between Ron Whitehead and Rinaldo Rasa on Facebook, after which I translated the poem as a way of getting closer to the text. Though the structure is that of a sonnet, I have not strayed far from the original French construction and semantics, rather than making the changes, as some translators have done, necessary to make it conform to the rhyme structure for a sonnet in English.

La Beauté

Je suis belle, ô mortels! comme un rêve de pierre,
Et mon sein, où chacun s'est meurtri tour à tour,
Est fait pour inspirer au poète un amour
Eternel et muet ainsi que la matière.

Je trône dans l'azur comme un sphinx incompris;
J'unis un coeur de neige à la blancheur des cygnes;
Je hais le mouvement qui déplace les lignes,
Et jamais je ne pleure et jamais je ne ris.

Les poètes, devant mes grandes attitudes,
Que j'ai l'air d'emprunter aux plus fiers monuments,
Consumeront leurs jours en d'austères études;

Car j'ai, pour fasciner ces dociles amants,
De purs miroirs qui font toutes choses plus belles:
Mes yeux, mes larges yeux aux clarités éternelles!

— Charles Baudelaire


I am lovely, oh mortals, like a dream of stone,
And my bosom, where each is slain in turn,
Is made to inspire in the poet a love
Eternal and speechless like matter.

I preside in the azure like an unfathomed sphinx;
I unite the heart of snow with the whiteness of swans;
I hate those movements that skew lines,
And I never weep and I never laugh.

Poets, before my grand poses,
borrowed from the proudest monuments,
will consume their days in austere study.

For I have, in order to fascinate these docile lovers,
Pure mirrors that make all things more beautiful:
My eyes, my large eyes of eternal clarity!

— Charles Baudelaire. (Translation by Lauren Wolfman)

Solstice Score

Part of the Level One training at Tamalpa Institute is learning the art of scoring. Scoring makes up part of the RSVP Cycle, a creative methodology co-created by Lawrence and Anna Halprin. A score is basically a recipe or a particular way of laying out a creative plan of action. I developed the score that follows to celebrate Solstice this year.

Theme: Winter Solstice - The longest night of the year.

Explore the somatic experience of darkness (and light as it
relates to the darkness)

Ann and Me (This is a score for 2 or more people.)

Place: Ann's studio

Time: Solstice Evening, December 20, 2008

Resources: Movement, Music (didgeridoo), Sound, Text, Breath, and the time of year!
[Musical selection: Into the Dreaming by Dreamtime, Noorooma: Myths and Magic by Spirit of Uluru, Working For World Peace & The Human Heart is For Kindness by Nawang Khechog]
1. 2-3 minutes
Setting the Stage: Start music. Dim lights. Light candles.
2. 20minutes--
Explore the somatic / felt sense for darkness and light using any or all of the following:
- Movement
- Stillness
- Sound
- Breath
- Words / Phrases
3. 10 minutes--
Write and/or draw an aesthetic response.
4. 5-7 minutes (each) --
Share the aesthetic response and your experience of the exploration with your partner. The aesthetic response may include movement, poetic words or a verbal descriptive response. For descriptive verbal feedback, use the I see, I feel, I imagine (three level physical-emotional-mental) model.

martes, 23 de diciembre de 2008


Arriba, esencia
de estrellas,
espacio y ausencias;
Abajo, el cálido abrazo
de la tierra-mar.

Primera ausencia:
Olor a mi madre.

Segunda ausencia:
Voz de mi padre.

Tercera ausencia:
Sonrisa pícara de mi tío.

Cuarta ausencia:
Ladridos de mi Lila.

Quinta ausencia:
Historias sólo recordadas por mis abuelos...

Ausencias cada vez más presentes
en su ausencia diáfana
que las formas boca, seno, frente, anciano, joven, mar, tierra,
son cada vez más fluidas,
y nuestras voces suenan cada vez más en coro,
y el cielo que nos separa es cada vez más transparente.

From the dark

Resting in an expanse of earth and darkness,
resting in an expanse of night and dreaming,
holding my no-face in intimate confidence
at the doors of darkness and light,
above, far away, the light beckons me to rise
from the dark primeval waters of origin.
After washing my no-face in her waters,
after returning repeatedly to her breast,
I am called to a delicate arising into the light
and to reveal my face, my eyes,
my breast bone to the manifest wind—
Upon waking from luscious oblivion,
forms begin to appear.
I am called— yet the call of the dark
pleas too for heedence—
Calls— calls to which I return and rise again and again.
Then, receiving starlight in my arms
like a mantle of grace,
I advance softly into half-light,
into the implication of light
that recalls its origin,
sweet like honey vapor.
Gently forward...

sábado, 20 de diciembre de 2008

Winter Solstice Night

Above me,
abiding starlight,
space and absence;
Below me,
the warm encompassing
dark earth.
All around me,
a transparency of meaning
cloaked in forms
of seeming dichotomy,
you, me, he, she, it--
lapping like waves
at the shore of the absolute.

domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2008

More from Mexico

Washing Clothes in the River
When was it? I don’t know if it was one time or many times that I washed clothes in a river on the rocks; the women around me expertly pressing their weight down, rubbing and slapping the fabric against the stone surface. Or did I just watch so intently that I felt I was doing it, or perhaps there were many times I was remembering the time when I had done it, and it all blended together. Whatever the case, it has been a part of me for almost as long as I can remember: the sensation of slapping wet garments down on flat rocks in a part of the river where the current is not too strong; wringing them by hand, and making piles of the twisted garments all ready to hang.

Singing to the Moon
Somewhere in Mexico on a balmy night, we were traveling miles and miles down a highway through a brightly lit moonlit landscape. I gazed up from my window in the back of the van where I sat with my legs tucked up under me, gazing at the full moon and softly under my breath I began to sing to her in the most poetic words I could think of, song after song, mile after mile. I imagine I sang of her silver face, her resemblance to a pearl, her soft light illuminating dreams...

La Tortillería
Nearly every morning, early, Agueda and I went to the tortillería just down the street to buy fresh corn tortillas. The aroma of fresh tortillas and the sound of the machinery in motion greeted us long before we entered the shop. I marveled at how the tortillas went up the creaking metal interlinked heavy gage wire conveyor belt into an oven where they were obscured from view and came out the other side and down where they were gathered up by the awaiting assistant who asked how many tortillas each of us in the gathering crowd wanted. Señora, tres dozenas, sí?, Tres docenas aquí y una media docena acá, and they were delivered into our awaiting woven tortilla basket lined with one of the colorful bleached muslin cloths we had embroided just for the purpose. They were passed out as fast as they came of the belt; and everyone scurried away as quickly as they had come with their little package or basketful of hot tortillas.

Embroidering on the Porch
Often in the late afternoon or early evening in the long warm days of summer, we women, Agueda, her daughter, and me and sometimes another relative or friend, would gather on her porch facing the street and chat and embroider. It was here in these gregarious afternoons that I learned to the ancient art of stitching handed down through the feminine lineage. I learned the running stitch, the vine stitch, the chain stitch, the blanket stitch, the French knot, the satin stitch, and the cross stitch. These were all that I needed to fill in the drawings of flowers and vines pulled taut on the wooden embroidery hoop. I was usually embroidering a cloth to wrap tortillas in to keep them warm. We bought the hoops, the fabric, and the thread at the local Mercado on Thursdays where Agueda let me choose my designs from amidst all of those in the stall hanging on display or piled high; she let me choose the color of my thread too. She had a favorite stand for buying the hilo. As we stitched, I would sometimes get distracted chatting and laughing and when I got up, on more than one occasion, I had sewn my embroidery to my dress. Agueda patiently snipped it free, helped me to pull the threads free of the cloth leaving the leaf or flower ready to stitch again. No harm done.

lunes, 24 de noviembre de 2008

More Stories from Cholula

Morning Routine

La limpieza y el orden were guiding principals for the way Agueda organized her life and that of those around her. Every morning when it was time to shower she made sure I did not just lather up, but also scoured my skin from head to foot with a rough rounded stone half the size of my palm. Often she did it for me, it felt sometimes like it was taking the top layer of my skin away while I turned a rosy pink from head to foot in contrast with the hard white tile. After my shower, she would do my hair. She sat me down in front of and old fashioned mirrored dresser and combed my hair until all hints of snarls were gone. She then gathered my hair all together in her hand and pulled it back into a pony tail making sure not a single strand or wisp escaped her grip, once secured with elastic held in place by bright round hair bobbles, she pulled the hair even tauter, till it hurt; then she smoothed the hair again with the comb and began to apply copious amounts of hair spray pumped by a black round rubber bulb squeezed between her fingers. The hair on my head acquired a hard texture, thus ensuring that not even so much as a hair would find its way loose during the course of the day.

Agueda’s Sala

Agueda’s sala was sacrosanct space; no one was allowed in it during the day. All of the furniture was encased in clear plastic to preserve it and for easy cleaning. The TV was an old style wooden console that sat against one wall decorated with embroidered doilies. In the evening we would enter the living room and under her observant eye and watch TV. I marveled at how the actors could actually have gotten inside the TV screen. I hypothesized that before we came into the room in the evening, they stealthily opened up the back and of the TV and got in and that then they either shrunk in size once they were in there so they would fit or that perhaps there was some dimensional shift once they entered the TV and that they were able to walk far back so they looked smaller.

Café con leche y pan dulce

Just before bedtime Agueda and I would enjoy a quiet moment in her kitchen at the back of the house and drinking café con leche, which was much more leche than café. The café amounted to just enough Nescafé to flavor the hot milk, served up on a brightly colored cup and saucer. She also laid out pan dulce we had ceremoniously picked out and placed on our tray with metal tongs at the neighborhood panadería. My favorite was the concha de chocolate which is a rounded roll about six inches in diameter decorated with a shell-patterned topping of flour, sugar, shortening and chocolate. I imitated her actions, breaking the bread and dipping it in the hot liquid, savoring it in my mouth for a moment, sucking the liquid from the bread, before sipping the café con leche to wash it down.

Bedtime Prayers

Every Summer, almost as soon as I arrived, Agueda gave me a brown scapular on a satin cord with the image of El Sagrado Corazón y un santo like San Martín de Porres inside to wear around my neck inside my clothes. She repeated this ritual of the escapulario every time I came to stay with her. She made sure I was protectegida in this way. También se aseguró I knew how to kneel down and pray by the side of my bed before tucking me in for the night. She taught me how to address the La Virgen, Madre de Dios and Jesus for blessing and divine intercession for family and loved ones. When my mother was sick two years ago, I learned, this is a gift and an art you can use when there is nothing else left to do.

domingo, 23 de noviembre de 2008

Primera Comunión: One Story, Three Narrations

I stood on Agueda’s porch in Cholula listening to the peel of the church bells announcing the passage of teams of girls with gleaming hair and freshly starched white dresses with frilly lace, transparent taffeta, frothy ruffles, and crinoline slips catecismos y rosarios in hand, streaming towards the cathedral. Agueda told me they were going for primera comunión. I was transfixed by the tide of girls in the prettiest dresses imaginable. Their freshly scoured skin shone brightly under a swath of Crema Nívea. There was excitement in the air—- how I longed to be parading with them through the streets on the way to such an important event.

I am standing on Agueda's porch in Cholula, listening to the peel of the church bells announcing the passage of teams of girls with gleaming hair and freshly starched white dresses with frilly lace, transparent taffeta, frothy ruffles, and crinoline slips, catecismos y rosarios in hand, streaming towards the cathedral. Agueda tells me they are going for primera comunión. I am transfixed by the tide of girls in the prettiest dresses imaginable. Their freshly scoured skin shines brightly under a swath of Crema Nívea. There is excitement in the air-- how I long to be parading with them through the streets on the way to such an important event.

Agueda, Agueda, a dónde van tantos niños? I ask as I watch and am transfixed by the peel of the church bells of Cholula Dong, dong, dong... and by the streams of girls with gleaming hair and freshly starched white dresses with frilly lace, transparent taffeta, frothy ruffles, and crinoline slips, catecismos y rosarios in hand, streaming towards the cathedral. Van a primera comunión, she says with admiration. I stand motionless on Agueda's porch. I can't pull my eyes away from the street that is awash in girls in the prettiest dresses imaginable. I marvel, como les brilla piel, and I remember the Crema Nívea from the shallow round blue can, that Agueda applied to my skin just that morning. My heart pounds, quiero ser como ellas llendo a un evento tan importante.

martes, 18 de noviembre de 2008

Thoughts on Masks

Last week Paulo Coehlo in his discussion group on Facebook introduced the topic of Masks, inviting his readers to share in the exploration. This, on heels of some of my own personal praxis, prompted me to articulate some of my thoughts. Only a few weeks ago I created a mask as part of a costume for dance piece; the with the aura of Halloween in the air, I attended a costume party, went to a Halloween Night celebration in San Francisco and the following day, performed at a dance evening hosted in the South Bay-- all of which involved masks.

It seems to me that all of us are filled with a multiplicity of facets and characters we play out in different ways, most often unconsciously, and sometimes simultaneously and or in quick alternation-- the mask is a great tool of self revelation: to make this inner drama explicit, to make the implicit and unseen visible and therefore conscious. Through exploration, we can then begin to see the characters within characters and the mask that resides behind the mask. The mask can aid us in bringing a particular facet of ourselves claimed or unclaimed into the spotlight of our awareness.

A few months ago, I participated in an exercise led by Daria Halprin at the Tamalpa Institute that demonstrated these very principles: the facets, as well as the "onion" principal of mask within masks or masks behind masks. We were asked to embody on our face different emotions and then to explore what emotion was behind it. If the current mask we wear is sadness, in the game of masks it becomes natural to inquire, what is behind the sadness? If serenity is behind the sadness, what is behind it? And how does each aspect move? The naturally arising insight is that if we embody and embrace our masks we come to know our own story and the play of our emotions through these aspects of ourselves in a deeper way, with this knowing, our empathy and recognition of others grows deeper.

As pointed out in Paulo Coehlo’s discussion group, Make-up can be another type of mask. Some have pointed out it can be used to conceal, protect, disguise and deceive; but, it can also be about celebration of the natural beauty of the body, to create drama, a character for exploration, or a way to play to create new contexts outside of the quotidian familiar ego states.

Outlining the eyes so their shape and color and luster is accentuated is a celebration and an artistic expression; taken to greater extremes, it can imbue the wearer with a resemblance to a goddess or to a bird or a lion. And with the lips-- a deepening of the color and an outline bring more attention to their role on the face: speaking, kissing, pouting... By accentuating the features of the face, a whole dimension of messaging and communication is opened up. By adding more artistic embellishment, a vista of metaphors and the imagination is opened up. This gives adults a context for play, through theater, dance, costume parties, or other ceremonial occasions.

The mask can be used to free up the psyche, so we can explore and reveal real aspects of ourselves. By taking ourselves out of a mundane state of awareness, we can open up our psychic range of movement. The mask can heighten awareness and bring out the vitality of the human capacity to play in order to learn about our universe! I believe one of the many reasons adult learning slows so much is that they stop playing, a primary mode of human discovery!

Masks can be used to conceal and protect or to reveal. By using masks to create a ceremonial, playful or theatrical context, it can make it safe to explore some aspects of ourselves that otherwise might seem too threatening. The emotions themselves can be seen as a mask. Each emotion is revealing, but concealed behind it is yet another layer, another mask. Is there an ultimate “true self”, an ultimate truth, or does the truth lie in the continual play and revelation of itself? Masks may be personal, transpersonal, cultural or universal; expressed in something as common as make-up or as particularly contextualized as a Kachina dancer. Masks may serve to explore the interface between the archetypal and the personal and to open the realm of play.

[Images of masks from Masks of the World.]

lunes, 17 de noviembre de 2008


Last week in Soto's Monday night class, we were asked to come up with three unique movement qualities while attaching "text" to each one. First quality was a slow sustained movement, the next quality was something of our own invention to contrast with that movement, and finally we were to choose a part of the body to lead the third movement and tell a story about an injury we sustained as a child. I was fascinated with the text some of the participants came up. Feeling on the spot, my narratives, apart from the story of the injury were abstract, about a sleeping octopus and "la luz que se separó del cielo". But after the class, my mind began to race to all kinds of vignettes or storylines or "text", if you like, from different times in my life. I put some of them down in writing... the following are a few:

I was just learning to ride my brand new green bicycle. My father held on the back to give me stability and pushed me along very slowly. Just as I was finding my balance and we were going very smoothly, he gave the bicycle a little push. I held tightly to the handle bars, careening out of control, wobbling as I went, but heading directly and inexorably for an "oncoming" tree at the side of the road. I hit the tree head on and fell to ground sustaining scrapes and bruises and feeling very shaken by the heretofore unrecognized magnetic power of trees.


For a week I was offered no water, only pulque. I lived in a tarpaper shack, the walls carefully papered with the colored pages of newpapers and magazines and held in place with nails hammered through bottle caps. Outside this shack, this home, I remember tall maguey cactuses. Tengo sed, tengo sed, ¡quiero agua! Por favor quiero agua, I pled. Only to be told, Ten, esto es agua, but I knew it wasn’t. It was pulque.


My mother told me stories of ravens, of seals, of mountain lions, and of the sea, and of the wind and of the trees. These were her favorite stories. She told me about the time a raven guided her out of the thickest dense fog on some rural highway in Mexico. She told me about the seal who, as she walked along the water’s edge, swam along with her just off shore. She told me about the tree whose life she saved by touching it and talking it daily. I think they saved each other again and again.


And I went to Ceci’s house. Ceci, ¿dónde está mi muñeca? ¿Cómo que no sabes? ¿Dónde la tienes? Dámela. Seguro que la tienes. I had never been to Ceci’s house. It was dark, it felt damp. The floors were scattered with toys and clothes. Somewhere in a pile de cosas revueltas, I found my doll without her head.


I am not from any place. I am not from here, and not from there. I am not Mexican; I am from any place in the United States. I can never be from anyplace because I never had a home. I didn’t even have a family. I come from the road, from some interstate highway between the East Coast and the West Coast, between the Southwest and the South, between Mexico and the United States, between Mexico and Guatemala, from some highway on isthmus of Tehuantepec, some highway in the highlands of Guatemala, I come from some highway I can barely remember or was I left on some highway I can barely remember, lost there in the hours of monotony.


Mano, oye mano, vamos a nadar, ¿sabes nadar?, ¿sabes cómo se hace?, se mueve las patas así, sí así, y los brazos, oye mano, a ver si sabe nadar Fred. Fred, Fred, [chiflando], ven Fred. She dove in. She kept her head above the water, paddling her way to the side with the most miserable, worried and betrayed expression in her eyes. From then on my dog Fred was terrified of the water. To this day, when I recall her eyes at that moment when she hit the water and could not touch bottom, I feel the weight of having betrayed her trust.


When he offered me the seat beside him, with a gesture of his hand, it opened up like the most inviting, like the safest place, like a place I could be and be safe and cared for, a place from with to greet the world. I thought it meant that I could trust him. I thought it meant that I could relax. I thought it meant so many things.

domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2008

Bucovina Dance Video

Artist's Statement for SMA Show

Colores de San Miguel de Allende
May 2008

I take photographs as a way of celebrating the visual world: an inquiry into place-- what elements are essential to that place?

Bright color and spontaneous creativity is a staple of daily traditional Mexican life. This was a part of my childhood and so I feel I “know” it in a special way. I believe that if we allow ourselves to be moved by the visual moment, we can come closer to the object of our attention, immersing ourselves as fully as possible with it, channeling it and even becoming it.

Color and hand-crafted materials are powerful expressions of the soul; this is what makes cultures that are closer to their traditions and less mechanized enchantingly nourishing. This kind of visual and sensorial nourishment can stir me up into a kind of rampant ecstasy which was the case during my six-day stay in San Miguel de Allende in late May of 2008.

I reveled in the color, texture, architectural detail, and the patina left by layers of time that naturally imbues these pictures with a sense of aesthetic and temporal depth. Mexico’s own historic depth, is a palpable presence here, expressed in a rainbow riot of indigenous hues— a mouthwatering color like crimson-orange papaya makes me long to dive deeply into its luscious strength.

My subject turns repeatedly to elements that convey a sense of place and reflect my desire to construct an inner sense of a stimulating spatial location with colors and texture, and with the brick, concrete, stucco and adobe that are linked to vital memories of my childhood.

I used a Nikon D80 with the Nikkor 18-200mm lens with stabilization.
The prints are printed on an Epson printer using archival quality pigment-based Ultrachrome inks. They are printed on Epson Velvet fine art paper; All are matted with 100% rag museum-grade matt board.

Enjoy the show!

Photographer: Lauren Wolfman
Price: All framed photographs are $225-$235 (depending on frame style) + tax. Also available matted only for $185.00. Finished matted images measure 18x24”. 15% discount available if you purchase more than one.
Contact email:
View images on web: San Miguel de Allende 2008

viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2008

martes, 4 de noviembre de 2008

La dama del sueño de obsidiana

La muerte me vino a visitar
Me dijo, yo te tengo algo que contar.
Pero yo le dije, Muertecita, yo no te quiero escuchar.
Ay, pero yo te tengo algo que contar--
Muertecita, Muertecita, Muertecita,
yo no te quiero escuchar
mi vida yo no la quiero dejar.
Ay amor, tarde o temprano, todos se dejan amar.

Y por el río el viento pasó
agitando la cabellera de los árboles.
Hija mía, hija mía, hija mía—
cantaban, arrullándome con sus quedos aullidos, tarde o temprano,
Todos se rinden a los encantos de la dama de la noche,
de la dama del sueño de obsidiana.

domingo, 2 de noviembre de 2008

Anastasia & Phaedra's Dance Night

November 1, on a pitch black night, through the driving rain, in which the only illumination was that of headlights and sheets of rain that shimmered in their light, I found my way across the San Mateo Bridge to Millbrae to the warm and welcoming home of the renown Greek twins Anastasia & Phaedra where dancers and their guests from around the Bay were gathered to honor the intoxicating joy of the dance.

Halloween 2008

On All Hallows Eve, in the dark of the night, accompanied by my friend Jack, I went in search of Rosin Covin. This search took me across the Bay Bridge into San Francisco to the Hotel Regency.

After returning through time to the 19th Century in the haunted labyrinthine chambers of the Regency, and viewing questionable theater and all sorts of bawdy spectacles, we mounted my faithful silver steed, Eufrasia, and headed back across the Bay, wending our way through the narrow streets teaming with milk maids, witches, naughty nurses, pumpkin heads, kitty cats and all manner of nocturnal creatures.

viernes, 24 de octubre de 2008

Oasis 08 - Somos Luz

Saturday October 18, when the moon was in its waning gibbous phase, at a distance of more than 364,500 kilometers from the Earth, dancers from around the Bay gathered at a place known as "The Small Hill", or "El Cerrito." Here, at a special site built to commemorate the warriors of past and present generations, also known as the "Veterans' Memorial Building", the dance troupe Desert Heat, hosted their 6th Annual Oasis Dance Night. My dance was an improvisation inspired by the words "Somos Luz" and "Estado Ingravitto" from the songs of Spanish band Macaco.

sábado, 11 de octubre de 2008

Canción de la pelvis al ser II

Soy una mariposa bajo la tierra.
Vuelo por la noche.
Mis alas brillan comos ríos
iluminados por fuegos fátuos.
Soy un angel de llamas rojas y marfil blanco.
Al danzar mis diáfanos velos
desparraman una red
de vitalidad, de humo y reflejos.
Esta te llegan entre los pliegues
de un sueño íntimo y lejano
y te circunda las piernas
para luego esfumarse
en las sombras
de una caverna ancestral—-
Yo te espero para que me descubras
como estrella, fuego, río, tierra,
pétalos de rosa—-
Saborea mi esencia si te atreves—-
Vístete de mis mil estrellas centellantes,
Vístete de mis llamas, lagrimas y corrientes,
Vístete de mi agonía y regocijos y duendes,
de los frutos de mi trabajo
de mis murmullos, mis giros y mis llantos--
Entra en esta casa de serpientes,
escondite del mar—-
Mi sabor es de arcilla-mar-estrella—canto.
Saborea estas cercanías si te atreves—
siempre estaré en el centro—
como base y fuente de los sueños
que deleitan
y entre los cuales, más de una vez,
te has perdido—
yo seré muchas
seré estrella, fuego y volcán—
pero también la tranquila proveedora
de una marcha equilibrada—
Siente mis vastos espacios
y estructura sólida.

Song of the Pelvis to the Self

I am connected to your neck, your head,
your mouth, your tongue—
I am a crossroads, a matrix of meaning.
I have a mind of my own.
I am silent thunder.
Though, if you listen,
yes, listen in, carefully,
you can discern my song—
What I have to offer you cannot “know”,
not in the normal ways you think,
and yet I will carry you far.
Further than you would have otherwise known,
to an inside which is an outside,
an inner which is an outer within,
in which you reside,
within which you are--
Call to me full of flowers,
call out to me with your blossoms,
dress me in celebration.
Would that I be addressed with ceremonious honor—
Songs and libations—
Drain your cup full to the top
and over the brim, over brimming
as I come forth with light & air & substance.
Sub- stance. Sub. Stance.
Away, away, away—
Way down, and away.
A way. A Way. This-s-s-s-s Way.
Gen – gentle – generative – generations – engender-r-r-r--
My gowns are flowing white,
my gowns are flowing red,
my gowns, a deep echoing silence within,
within, with in— a body without a body.
Enter my multiplicity.

lunes, 30 de junio de 2008

Pierdo la cabeza

Pierdo la cabeza.
Se me desliza el horizonte.
Las estrellas me cantan.
Me las quiero comer
como ciruelas amarillas.
Tiro mordidas al cielo,
pero como luciérnagas
se me escapan de la lengua--
Pero me dejan con una cosquilla
destrás de la cual
me encontrarás corriendo.

domingo, 22 de junio de 2008

Soy el miedo...

Soy el miedo, el pavor,
y la celebración
de la vida--
Clava tu mirada
en la mía.
Siente el perfume
de la verdad
en el sabor
del leve gesto
de ironía
que titila en mi ceja
y tintinea
en mis labios.
Se escapan de mi boca
mil paradojas blancas,
palomas en vuelo
recién escapadas
de su palomar.
Bajo los rayos del sol
sus alas,
en busca de la unicidad,
como relumbrantes destellos
de luz que se fugan
de su origen
anónima e incógnita
de la unidad.
Es aquí
precisamente aquí,
en el aquí
que sugiere,
que requiere,
el allá,
donde dios se deja vislumbrar
en sus efectos:
y cielo--
además del
calor o frío
rubor o blancor
sangre o calavera
la timidez desenfrenada,
el heroísmo sinestro,
la ignorancia brillante--
todos los nombres todos,
todos y lo que representan,
bajo el sol,
bajo la luna,
bajo el manto de estrellas,
todos como danzante
que se viste de alba
transparente y suelta
antes de esfumarse,
son motivos
de esta celebración
que es la fiesta
del Mundo.

viernes, 20 de junio de 2008

Soy la tristeza

Soy la tristeza
que cargas los largos años
de la vida,
recordándote tus pasos
y tu recorrido
por ella. Mis raíces
impregnan la tierra
de tu alma,
buscan fondo,
imobilizan tu pies
dentro del río.
Mis aguas
humedecen tu mejilla
besada por una luna
de luto color-carmín.
La bruma
que sueltan mis manos
te envuelve
en una manta de seda
en sus pliegos
te vestirás de reina
o los elevarás como estandarte.
Llevarás un collar de mis perlas
entre tus dedos
enlazado como rosario
Recordarás. Recordarás. Recordarás.
El timbre de mi voz coquetea
con las campanas del hado
que suenan
desde el fondo del mar.
Dentro de mi gemir
te amonesto,
¡recobra el tesoro
que enterré en el suelo,
pero no te quedes
en estas aguas!
¡te ahogarás!
Recobra los velos de luz
y llévalos volando
a la fiesta del sol.
Yo te recuerdo
el reino
que has perdido,
del cual te has extraviado.
Te brindo un sendero
de migajas centelleantes,
de estrellas fulgorosas,
que te marcan el camino
hacia tu trono verdadero.

martes, 17 de junio de 2008

Por las ramas del laurel

This is a spoken word piece I did sometime last year using Federico Garcia Lorca's poem, "Por las ramas del laurel":

And this piece uses his poem "Romance de la luna luna"--

martes, 10 de junio de 2008

Red face of the moon

I am the crimson veil of grief.
I am the red face of the moon.
I pass between the sisters of the earth.
I cast my cardinal shadow
midst the waves, ‘tween the furrows
of the plowed fields--
I am the dark that deepens
the meaning of light
each moment we share
in this humble body. Ride
my currents deep
before the tenebrious gods.
The gleaming mist of
my keen will cleanse you,
my embrace like a shroud
will keep you safe
till your return.

Now let me go. Give me over.
Open your eyes.
In your dream
body, your most
exquisite self,
this crimson one
your life

copyright (c)2008 Lauren Wolfman
(5.31.08 From a dance at Sweat your Prayers at Bellas Artes, SMA.)

Mother and Daughter Poem

Breathe, breathe.
My breath spirals
like a double helix
reaching into the universe--
My mother. My mother,
the one who gave me form is
within. In and out
endless serpentine curve
as silent
as reptiles taking the sun
rhythmic flux
rise and fall
heart beat
a single lifetime
this, my womanly form,
interlocked at the elbow
with many lifetimes
and the formless
mystery just outside
the gait of imagination
within this mind,
my mind, my form, my being
created by the mother who created
my mother who is
the universe
as am I.

lunes, 9 de junio de 2008

Flower-petaled Flames

We spoke and shared secrets about the inner workings of things in the universe. This made us laugh and ponder and wonder how it might all work from the smallest level and we thought about the miraculous activity that occurred at the very, very, very tiniest level. And we fed these secrets and surmisings with our own breath, blowing, sometimes gently, sometimes forcefully, until they grew and grew into soft flower-petaled flames that rose and rose until they filled the sky with their breathtaking beauty as luscious and more moving than the deepest deep— And then, they all fell back to earth, to our sadness and tears, which though painfully, we most certainly shed happily-- "happily", because of all we had shared. And we said good-bye, for now, as each went her merry way, dancing.

-- Lauren 6/6/08
(Story from a trio improv with Julia and Ue.)

Mother and Daughter

--Lauren 5-26-08
(Mother & Daughter, drawn in Casa Guadalupe, San Miguel de Allende.)

Crow and Iguana Dialogue

Iguana: I am an iguana. I move slowly near to dear
earth. I look for her warmth midst the sun warmed rocks. Moving
forward with slow deep intention, I stretch and push my legs...
With a deliberate pace I observe, silently watching,
flicking my tongue to catch a hint on the air of what is to come.
Crow, my sister, you and I have many things in common.

Crow: I too love the silence. Yet, as much as I
love the silence, I adore punctuating it with my raucous voice as
old and cracked as the earth's boulders. Just as you I too
love to cross the face of the earth, but from a higher vantage point,
My friend. I stretch my wings out on the wind. I soar, I am lifted
higher and higher. Joyously I shatter the silence of the day with
my “caaawwww.” For you the air hints at what is to come, for me it
howls and sings news of far away places. But, your eyes and mine, my
brother, that we have in common: the round arc, the manner of our

Iguana: Yes, yes, it is in the manner of our looking that
we penetrate the veils of the here. Slowly, deliberately, without
interfering, we look. Coming to a great stillness we see by allowing
the light to come to us, and reveal her secrets.

copyright (c) 2008 Lauren Wolfman

domingo, 8 de junio de 2008

Images from San Miguel

While I was in San Miguel de Allende, May 23-28, I took a lot of photographs. My themes were doors, faces, intersections/borders and, secondarily, windows and lamps. The doors are an old theme and one that is always holds a metaphoric fascination. They are at once portals, thresholds, barriers, openings... As far as faces, my awareness was heightened by the "head" work we had been preparing for this month in my Tamalpa Training where each month we have been taking a part of the body to explore in its physical, emotional and imaginal metaphoric resonances. Intersections/borders is another rich topic as it suggests so many things, borders between people, countries, points of contact and delineations of difference or boundaries. Attached are some of the images.

martes, 19 de febrero de 2008

The littlest dakini

Once upon a time in a land closer than you might imagine, there lived the littlest dakini. Sofia Alegre was her name. She had many sisters. They made sure sure she had plenty of time to play. She played in the forest. She caught the light that fell between the branches. She played by the seaside. She skipped over the lapping waves. As each wave receded she skimmed her toe in its transparent wake. At night she danced with the fireflies. Her friends were the birds that sang at dawn and the ones that sang at dusk, announcing the coming of day, announcing the coming of night. Sometimes, most often at full moon by the sea, her sisters would join with her and dance in a circle. Sofia was mesmerized by the utter grace of each of her sisters-- some of whom had were barely older than she, and others who had been through many, many, almost countless cycles of the moon. Watching her sisters and listening to her own inner guidance, she learned to become fire, air, water and earth. She learned to fly like a falcon, to swim like a dolphin... They danced for hours, though it seemed like "no time at all, or perhaps", Sofia thought to herself, "like all time at once." Time was a mystery she sometimes pondered as it seemed more fluid to her than the ocean itself, and it seemed like no thing at all, yet the effects of its flow could be seen. She was growing up. First she grew taller, her wheat-colored hair grew longer and longer, then her body filled out and its form changed into vivacious curves. Her curiosity as a woman and about relationships grew. She saw that some of her sisters had life-long partners, others had joined and separated many times, yet others chose a path of intimate solitude. Some took vows of commitment to a partner, some vowed dedication to solitude, all took a vows of service to humanity and all sentient beings in need-- each had her own style, and in time each became a skillful teacher. "I should like a partner who does not bind me," Sofia thought, "one who is my equal, he shall be kindred to fire and earth, he shall be a brother of the coyotes, and he shall know the tenderness of a baby puppy's breath and the generosity of Tara, he shall know how to build a home and adore me unconditionally and challenge me to new depths through our dance of creation, and of solitude and togetherness."

domingo, 17 de febrero de 2008

The Moon

The moon like the eye of a halibut flying through the heavens, watches the minnows bound for the Milky Way.

Like the eye of a halibut flying through the heavens is the moon.

Tonight the moon glistens like the tooth of a crocodile poised at the edge of your imagination.

The moon changes hands as often as gypsy travelers join their palms in celebration.

The moon as smooth as silver on the water cascades over the shoulders of a lost child.

Today the moon grasped the sky, she held him to her belly, closer than a whisper.

The moon, like a silver coin, is the currency of the stars-- they will exchange her virtue for 1000 fireflies. These the gypsies will steal to make lanterns.

Like a dish of milk laid out on a glistening carpet, the moon awaits the innocent indiscretion of a yawning kitten.

Like a platinum pendant glistening on the blossom of the night, her bosom rising and falling with each breath, her gaze is immersed in the ecstasy of each moment. This-very-moment.

The moon is an allusion to a deep nocturnal well of light, a hare once said on his way to a party.